I have often found that maturity is among the greatest of virtues, for it is the juvenile who often sit and wonder why they are disliked.
I told this to a friend in late 2016. He later told me it changed his outlook on life quite a bit. Beforehand, he had been involved in some… less than savory activities, trying his hardest to hold onto his own childishness, as though it would somehow protect him from the real world. He told me that he thought about what I said, and thought enough to realize that he wanted to change.
I try my hardest to live by that. However, this has not been the only obstacle I’ve been faced with in my short life.
One cold November evening, the rats escaped. My future bandmate and current roommate Claire and I scrambled to get the rats back into their cage, still half asleep. Now that they knew how to get out, though, it was only a matter of time before it happened again. And happen again it did. After a few nights of rude awakenings, I realized that to stop the rats, I would need to become something else. A worthy adversary. And thus Bad Rat was born.
With the passing of legendary soul singer Aretha Franklin and the 60th birthday of Madonna occurring within days of each other this week I started to think about the enduring legacy of certain women in the music biz and how they got to where they are today. I also started to think about the mentors that have helped me on my journey. Here are seven female performers who have influenced my work and the stage of life I was in when they found me and first sang their song to me.
If there is one thing as a musician and composer that I hate, it’s being asked the question, “So what kinds of music do you like/listen to?” Not only is it an unfair and biased leading question. But when folks like myself answer, “Oh, I like everything,” usually that is met with a smile and nod combo or total silence. Nobody seems to know how to react to the fact that … dear lord … he probably likes classical and jazz too. And yes, this is a very true fact. I’ll even throw in new age for the hell of it! Here, I’m going to talk about another aspect of these different listening habits, though. More in the vein of how many genres and artists have and continue to influence me up to this very stage in my composing career.